Your weekly update from our public affairs team on all the latest developments and debates in Parliament and across Whitehall.
Three years on from the Grenfell Tragedy, the government has produced its draft Building Safety Bill.
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has launched a call for evidence on the Bill. The Bill also makes provision for the New Homes Ombudsman.
The Housing, Communities and Local Government (HCLG) Committee is scrutinising the policy objectives, key provisions and likely impact of the draft Bill.
These reflect the concerns the committee raised in its report on building regulations and fire safety and the five broad areas of reform as set out in the government’s consultation:
The main proposals in the Bill are to introduce:
The HCLG Committee has called for evidence on the following aspects of the Bill:
Some of the key issues we have concerns about include:
There’s evidence of long leaseholders having to pay up to six-figure bills to cover building repairs and fire safety watches (with developers and freeholders often said to be delaying or refusing to contribute.
Some lenders are refusing mortgages if a property does not have an EWS1 Form, even if the property is said to have undergone a fire safety check.
Temporary valuations at £0.00 prevent the market from operating openly.
The FRA (the replacement for the EWS1 in the Bill) seems unlikely to make any change to the operation of the market.
Tenants are reporting a deterioration in mental health as a result of:
Some long leaseholders are criticising the lack of responsibility being taken ‘at the top’ and say that £600 million for ACM and £1 billion non-ACM government cladding fund is insufficient given the scale of the problem.
Not all landlords have applied to access these first-come, first-served funds, which leaves the problem with long leaseholders.
The call for evidence closes on 14 September.
We invite those with an interest in acting for buyers and sellers of long leasehold properties to either:
We encouraged members to respond to the government’s consultation on redress for purchasers of new build homes and the New Homes Ombudsman.
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee published its report, Building regulations and fire safety: consultation response and connected issues.